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Rumilluminations February 2022
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Tue, February 01 2022 - 12:51 pm

February 28, 2022
Silver City, NM

I have a friend who needs me (yesterday she helped me get my wallet back - long story) so this may be very short.

Yes! Silver City came through! But an odd thing happened when I went to the police station this a.m. to report my lost wallet in case someone left it there for me: I couldn't walk in! Is this usual for small city police stations?

I don't get it. If I were running away from a violent person I wouldn't have found refuge at all in that lobby!

So, anyone who might find themselves in that situation, driving or running to a police station may not be the solution to your emergency. Take a visit to your local police station and see what their set-up is!

February 27, 2022
Silver City, NM

Took a beautiful hike on Boston Hill today, got home and found my wallet missing, so except for a ride to the trailhead from a kind friend, I walked it again.

It's gone, but with luck it will be returned to me. After all, this is Silver City!

February 26, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Once the leaves were well off the deciduous trees around town, I started noticing big balls of green in the trees that I hadn't noticed before. Mistletoe, sometimes in what would seem life-threatening quantities. In an already dry environment, I think it is probably more than ever an unwelcome guest come to dinner.

This morning I heard what I would have sworn was a warbler - are songbirds returning aleady? Of course I couldn't spot it. Do they even fly through here?

I later heard another songbird which sounded like nothing so much as a mockingbird, which I have never seen here. Maybe it was a thrasher. Some of them have hundreds if calls and songs. They tend to be reclusive, though. I have yet to catch any of them in the act of pouring their hearts out in song. 

February 25, 2023
Silver City, NM

It's a gorgeous day here. I'm having trouble finding enough time to walk lately, though. Don't know quite why.

Anyone who has ambitions to weave has a place to learn. Maybe if I can stop dawdling around just surviving I'll stop by Wild West Weaving on Texas off Broadway and take some lessons myself. I bet I can still do that in spite of my essential tremor, unlike sewing teeny little stitches the way I did when I was in my twenties.

Anyone who wonders if they might enjoy weaving and associated processes should read Three Weavers, a book recommended to me by Hosanna, who runs the weaving shop.

Fascinating read full of surprising details! It should be back at the public library here in Silver in a day or two, when I finish with it.

Gonna go read now.

February 24, 2023
Silver City, NM

The last two days have been filled with stuff like housekeeping, shopping for essentials, and alas, the death of my telephone.

Those are my excuses for not writing, teach.

I experienced my first rough New Mexico "spring" wind in twenty years yesterday. I had forgotten the dust and buffering and what actually feels like badgering as I stubbornly walked home from meeting a friend, even after she offered me a ride.

My recent Free Will Astrology horoscope had told me to say yes more than no, but I forgot and consequently, when my phone showed itself not run down but dead, had to turn right around and take a bus back to T-Mobile and buy a new phone.

Luckily the person who helped me at the store was heading home and offered me a ride (he was going in the same direction) so at least I avoided a second even farther thrashing by the wind.

I would have thought that in our broad bowl of a valley mostly surrounded by mountains we would escape some of the might of those winds, and maybe we do. They still exist, though.

Last night it snowed. Pretty. Back to winter we trudge, tra-la.

February 21, 2022
Silver City, NM

A week ago there was a fun run here, and as I walked from lap one to the finish line, I saw an arch over the sidewalk that goes past the visitor center. It days Big Ditch Park - quite an attractive metal archway.

Made me feel crazy. How could I have missed that? I must be the most unobservant person in the world!

The next day I passed by again. "Has that archway been here forever?" I inquired. "I just saw it for the first time yesterday!"

"That's because we just put it up the day before yesterday."


February 20, 2022
Silver City, NM

Someone told me about a community garden here yeaterday, up West of the University somewhere.

I haven't had a chance to look for it yet, but it's another destination reachable by foot.

One of these days...

This morning I intended to hike up Boston Hill but somehow the time got away from me, mostly spent on the telephone. But oh, there are some.exciting times ahead! I'm getting a booklet deal for Advanced Airline tickets between here and Albuquerque. They are also available for passengers flying between here and Phoenix, although I won't have enough need for that destination to justify buying a booklet for it.

Today another perfect day. I yell you, George Bernard Shaw was just plain wrong about a succession of fair days being boring.

Not if you live in Silver City!

February 19, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

This morning I happened by a table across from Goff Park labeled Toss No Mas.

Yes - the organization I wrote about once before is not Trash No Mas but Toss No Mas!

Blame me for not reporting accurately. I made the mistake of mishearing or blindly believing what an old guy wielding one of those long a handled grabbers told me.

I blithely committed to two hours of looking for trash, holding the biggest trash bags I have ever seen - one for recycling. I remembered seeing a bunch of trash on my neighborhood walk the other day, but I couldn't find it today. Aside from some very bulky unwieldy cardboard -which I did manage to haul back to the starting point, our neighborhood was pretty clean. I thought.

On the very next block in the direction I did not go, I found quite a bit of trash.

Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, and what I saw will fit easily in the apartment building's receptacles.

I was told at the table when I signed three required waivers that they had a great turnout today. If I want to grab trash with a tool I'll have to get there earlier.

One woman and her husband came back with a pick-up full of trash. They do collect frequently - don't limit themselves to once a month.

Alas, the reason I was walking by in the first place was I wanted to get tamales at Farmers Market, and those folks didn't show up today. Oh well, I bought spinach and jerky.

I look forward to March when the market is again open every week.

February 18, 2022
Silver City, NM

Mask mandates gone in New Mexico and I am grateful. Everybody seems happier. I'll still avoid crowds for a long while but right now I'm sitting masks was in the Southwest room and there is no one within twenty feet of me.

I met a lovely woman here yesterday (masked) and another (unmasked) at the laundromat this morning. What fun!

Another possible phenomenon is that I seem to get into conversation with more men when my hair is down and more women with my hair confined in a braid. Valid observation?

We shall see. Any any rate, It's a good reason to use both styles!

Silver City continues to be an unbelievably friendly burg. Yay!

P.S. I just noticed I haven't needed allergy medicine yet today. Maybe the onslaught of pollen got knocked down by our little snowfall.

February 17, 2022
Silver City, NM

Uh, oh. Trouble in Paradise - this time for me personally. For the first time in decades I have really bad allergies - in my case juniper fever, I guess.

I've never had problems in the Spring before, but I guess either juniper is really populous here (it is!) or I'm allergic to some other unknown species. At any rate, folks with juniper sensitivities may not find this the best location for them.

On the other hand, a Co-op worker told her a doctor told her everyone is allergic to juniper. I suppose it's just a matter of degree. It is possible that all the rains last year have led to a fierce allergy year in store for us.

This early attack kind of plays havoc with my plan to buy an herbal preventive medication at Bear Creek Herbs before my usual season of affliction - summer.

I did buy a "homeopathic" relief medication at the Co-op which seems to be helping. It is unlike any homeopathic pill I've had before and have other to me scary ingredients; but it does seem to be helping!

I wonder if wearing a mask all the time would help also, but I can't bear to resort to that yet!

February 16, 2022
Silver City, NM

Last week, sitting on Boston Hill, I saw what seemed to be a graceful courting flight between two ravens. I have lived around ravens for years and never seen that before.

Today I heard a celunking sound that I have heard several times in the last few weeks, but couldn't usually spot the birds calling. This time I did and there were two birds together. What are they feeling when they make that sound, I wonder?

February 14, 2022
Silver City, NM

Happy Valentine's Day!

It snuck up on me this year, but how can one not celebrate love? On Saturday there was a community run. I was going to walk it, but got so far behind (without even trying!) that I only did the first lap.

I was talking to nonparticipants! (At least that's my excuse.) It was a FUN RUN so there was no pressure, anyway.

I would have done the second lap but I would have been doing it alone. I can do that any day and usually do. -The route was in my neighborhood.

Meeting new people made it definitely worth it, and I was inspired by a conversation to look into WILL - a fairly inexpensive program that offers more educational opportunities to people in the community, including classes on nature. Just up my alley.

Here it is sunny. I hope you are enjoying sun also, on this Valentine's gift of a day!

February 11, 2022
Silver City, NM

Wow! Talk about a long lunch break! I am sorry to report that Mi Mexico Viejo does not accept credit cards, but not very sorry because their burritos are so inexpensive ($5.25 after tax) that a person would almost be embarrassed to use one. Luckily I had cash. Surprise!

The menu was so overwhelming I asked the lovely woman who was taking orders what her favorite choice was, and she responded by saying many of their customers choose the carne asada. Who am I to second-guess the locals? I liked it so much I ate it all in one meal. It was not merely meat with a square or two of green chile; it also contained avocado, yellow peppers, onion (at least!) and was served with a sauce in a little baggie.

When I discovered that, I took mine home so I could use a plate. I don't know how many burrito variations the menu lists but I plan to try them all eventually.

February 9, 2022
Silver City, NM

Outside again! It feels toasty sitting here in the sun outside the Visitors Center with no wind to speak of.

Since it's so late in the morning I am sorely tempted to buy some lunch at Mi Mexico Viejo, a teeny drive-up shack on the corner across Broadway from here.

Hmmm... well, only for the sake of reporting, you understand, I will! Maybe they accept credit cards.

February 8, 2022
Silver City, NM

For the first time in several weeks I'm writing outside, standing on the sunny western side of the public library.

Getting close to being a real senior (75+) I've decided a couple of things and I want to mention them, wandering from the subject of New Mexico and Silver City. 

When I was growing up, I was taught that God created us in His image. I have now come to believe that man has created God in man's image - or what man wanted it to be. A God that is both all Love and all Powerful? Phooey.

Along with that I was thinking about the old concept of a benevolent dictator - supposedly the best kind of government.

Phooey to that, too. Look around the governments of the world. There's no such thing as a benevolent dictator. Doesn't exist - and cannot.

Let's not try the experiment, okay? Please?

February 7, 2022
Silver City, NM

Yesterday a friend and I hiked for miles from a road off the road to the Gila Ruins - a military trailhead. She had taken a course in tracking so we had kind if scary fun trying to figure out if some tracks we came across were huge dog - or mountain lion! Eek!

There was still snow on part of the trail (which we foolishly had forgotten to consider) so we got to see the prints in mud and snow. Now I am back at the Visitors Center to see if their paw tracks look familiar. Hmm...I wish they had dog for comparison.

Out here in the Gila National forest we attained yet another summit without even intending to. They're everywhere! and with fabulous views, all different.

Strangers to the Southwest probably think that it's all the same. Most people probably have a vision in mind of an immense arid desert.

It's not like that at all. Even here in the mountains different areas have different vegetation, rocks, and moods. Exploring it is always an adventure. But please, Mr. Mountain Lion, not too exciting an experience!

February 5, 2022
Silver City, NM

When I was decades younger, I wondered how old women managed to survive in a world which often seems to perceive 23-year-old females as over-the-hill.

Later - much, much later - I realized that perception was not entirely universal amongst those of the male sex.

Another decade or two along, I realized that often how good I looked to men was very dependent on how good their eyes were.

Now that I am older still,  I think there is one overwhelming ability that allows us wrinkled old women to maintain enough self-esteem to function in the world: self-deception.

That's why the young really need to treat us with respect.
It takes a lot of talent and energy for an older person - especially females - to function in a world dominated in most places by younger folks.

Downtown Silver City is a paradise for older folks, I'll admit; there are so many of us! On the whole we are very lucky. Folks are so friendly here!

Alas, there's a drawback to this downtown retirement community situation. One sad, sad ineluctable fact. 

There are too few young people around!


February 3, 2022
Silver City, NM

Snow but not much here. Nothing to keep me inside yet. Right now I'm in the Visitor's Center where I've met another friendly volunteer. The volunteers here are exceptional, full of information and stories about the local environs. He says he has seen waters raging up to the rim of the 20-foot San Vicente within 1/2 hour during a big rain.

During this visit I also saw a sandbox surrounded by wood blocks which you can use to see what various animal footprints look like. Not too encouraging for someone like me. I would interpret practically all of them as "dog."

One exception were the elk prints, which are very different from other cloven-hooved prints that I've seen. Another is the skunk print, which I would never confuse with, say, a racoon. There are a couple of empty hooks which might have held deer and javelina prints, but I don't know.

Still, a fun experience to get an introduction to tracking. Maybe some day I'll come here and find scat! The sandbox does evoke memories of litter boxes.

The tree of hats is empty. The knitters of Silver City can knit for another year with confidence that their donations will be appreciated next winter.

February 1, 2022
Silver City, NM

The sunrise this morning was so dramatic that I put on my ancient quilted winter bathrobe, socks, slippers, scarf gloves and hat, heated a cup of water in the microwave, and viewed it from the front porch. It was impressive. There was a raven flying around like a stage hand making last minute adjustments for the performance, and I fully intended to hang around until the curtain opened for The Day.

Alas, there was no audience around to gawk at while waiting and the sun was really slow in making an appearance, although it did create some awesome lighting effects, so I went inside to finish my morning ablutions. Watching the dawn, let's face it, is more like seeing pictures at an exhibition than a live dramatic performance with human actors.

Still, dawn and dusk are my favorite times of day.

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